Sunday, December 12, 2010

Italian Semifreddo

In Italian, semifreddo means half cold. It has the texture of frozen mousse because it is usually made by blending two equal parts of ice cream and whipped cream. In Italian cuisine, Semifreddo is often made with gelato as the main ingredient.

This semifreddo is light and takes on both peppermint liqueur and candy to make it a holiday must.

Bon Appetit!

Peppermint Semifreddo
Photo by Martha Stewart

Serves 6

4 ounces (about 1/2 cup) peppermint candy, plus more for serving

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

3 large eggs, separated

9 tablespoons sugar

6 tablespoons peppermint liqueur

Chocolate Sauce

Using a rolling pin, finely crush 5 tablespoons candy between the two sheets of parchment paper. Place cream in a medium bowl; whisk in crushed candy, and whip until stiff peaks form. Chill until ready to use. Roughly crush remaining 3 tablespoons candy; set aside.

Prepare an ice bath. In a large metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water, whisk egg yolks and 3 tablespoons sugar until pale. Add liqueur; whisk vigorously until mixture is thick, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to ice bath; whisk until cool.

In the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a pan of simmering water, whisk egg whites and remaining 6 tablespoons sugar until sugar dissolves and mixture is warm to the touch, about 2 minutes. Attach bowl to mixer, and beat until stiff and glossy peaks form.

Fold the egg-white mixture into the egg-yolk mixture one-third at a time. Fold in the whipped-cream mixture. Spoon mixture into six serving dishes, layering it with reserved crushed candy. Freeze until firm, at least 1 1/2 hours.

Serve with chocolate sauce and peppermint candy on the side.